Karl Fuller: Closing in on an unwanted record that I remember so well

Cardboard cut-outs of Ipswich Town fans. Photo: PA

Maybe a relief Town fans have only been cut-outs this season! - Credit: PA

Forget last week, KARL FULLER is looking ahead and forward to better days.There have been difficult times in the past, but none compare to this.

It’s probably for the best that I cut straight to the final whistle of Saturday’s game and ignore what happened in the preceding 90 minutes as well as the Northampton game last week.

What can be said is that we closing in on seven straight games without scoring that was set in 1994/95 - a time that I remember only too well.

Flynn Downes with his head in his hands after Town had conceded a first half penalty.

More heads in hands - this time against AFC Wimbledon - a recurring theme most of the season - Credit: Steve Waller-www.stephenwaller.c

When we defeated Southampton 2-1 at Portman Road in February 1995 thanks to goals from debutant Alex Mathie and Lee Chapman who headed home a cross by another debutant, Lee Norfolk, little did we know that we would go the next seven games without scoring and indeed a full 716 minutes. 

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By the time we scored again, we were midway through April and entering the final six games of the season. It was my first and only visit to Highbury, then home of Arsenal, where we celebrated a goal as if we had won the FA Cup.

I remember the occasion so vividly, some 26 years on. A young Kevin Ellis made his debut for Town and I remember Paul Merson trekking across the pitch to wish Ellis well just before kick-off.

Ian Wright puts Arsenal 1 up against Blackburn at Ewood Park during their FA Carling Premiership mat

Ian Wright, doing what Ian Wright did - scored goals - Credit: PA

Merson was then in an unforgiving mood as he opened the scoring before Ian Wright scored a nine-minute hat-trick.

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When we won a corner, we cheered wildly and it was seen as real progress. When Ian Marshall scored in the 72nd minute, Town fans were delirious.

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I feel that if we were allowed in the ground for this current run of games, a goal would be just as sarcastically received. Mind you, back in that season, we lost 9-0 at Man United and were louder than their fans in the last few minutes and I also witnessed 4-1 defeats at Sheffield Wednesday and Blackburn as well as that 4-1 game at Arsenal.


Adam Tanner celebrates scoring Town's winner at Anfield in 1995 - Credit: Archant

Throw in an embarrassing 2-1 FA Cup defeat at Wrexham and you could say that I did not pick my away days wisely in those five months. Even more so when I decided to stay away from Anfield as we won there for the first-time ever.

As bad as it was though, it doesn’t compare to these days.

But all that is soon about to change, I believe.

Why am I so confident? Having watched the interviews held with one of our American owners Berke Bakay last Thursday, it wasn’t just about buying into our hopeful upturn in results next season. It was the far bigger picture that I could not fail to buy into.

Berke Bakay

New Ipswich Town owner Berke Bakay was a guest on a special edition of the Kings of Anglia podcast - Credit: Archant

Berke spoke with passion, humility, with a vision and an aura that was infectious. As I said in the last couple of weeks, the enthusiasm from all of the new owners breeds new hope.

We know results are not guaranteed in football, but what is clearly guaranteed is that these guys will be doing their absolute best for us.

I am so looking forward to enjoying going to games again. I want the days of enjoying away days with my mates to return, the  last couple of years have not been much fun. I’m not talking about the days of 1978 or 1981 or even immediately, the days of 2000 to 2002.

Town fans celebrate Jonas Knudsen's goal at Carrow Road. Picture: Pagepix

Just looking forward to fun away days again with fellow Town fans

But just away days that win lose or draw, you know the lads left everything on the pitch and done us proud. 

And speaking of those days, one of my Twitter acquaintances Graeme Brooke wrote a superb book a few years back titled: ‘Adventures of a Tractor Boy’ from his time of following Town, which has had a resurgence in sales of late.

Graeme takes great pride in seeing the book pictured with readers around the world and all profits go to Colchester Hospital’s Special Care Baby Unit by way of thanking the unit for the care that Graeme’s daughter Leah received when born eight weeks early. My twins also received care from the same unit when they were born. 

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Graeme is hoping that the book can reach number one in Amazon’s best sellers in football books and is currently number two at the time of writing.

Priced at just £6.99, please visit Amazon, Greetings & Gifts in Manningtree or signed copies are available at the Brantham Bull pub. Good luck Graeme. 

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